Hematoma is a collection of blood in an organ, muscle or below the skin surface. It develops when a blood vessel ruptures and leaks blood into the surrounding tissue. Common forms of hematoma are bruises (contusions) and black eyes.
Hematomas typically form due to an injury that causes the wall of a blood vessel to burst and the body reacts by creating a pocket of blood to stop bleeding. Hematomas can form at different locations. In minor cases, hematoma resolves on its own when the body absorbs the accumulated blood. However, hematoma can at times be life-threatening. Particularly serious hematomas are the ones that form within the skull.
Hematoma that does not go away and is tender and painful requires medical attention. Here we will discuss septal hematoma, how it develops, what symptoms it produces and how it can be treated.
Septal Hematoma Overview
Septal hematoma is accumulation of blood in the nasal septum which separates the nostrils. Septal hematoma usually occurs due to an accident, fall, a fracture or any other injury. The nose is generally susceptible to injuries because of its structure. Any trauma to the nose can cause blood vessels to burst leading to accumulation of blood between the septal cartilage and mucoperichondrium. People who play contact sports are prone to nosebleeds which can be accompanied by septal hematoma.
Sometimes, septal hematoma can be caused by harsh nose blowing. Medications like anticoagulants and medical conditions such as blood disorders or vascular diseases can also lead to septal hematoma.
Use of cocaine as well as septum piercing can also be responsible for development of a septal hematoma.
Symptoms of Septal Hematoma
Symptoms of septal hematoma are pain and swelling of the nasal septum on one side. Furthermore, a patient may complain about headaches, bruises, redness and discoloration under the eyes. Septal hematoma can also cause nasal congestion and breathing difficulty. Septal hematoma can severely damage the nasal septum if it is left untreated. It can also progress into a painful septal abscess. Finally, another complications of septal hematoma may include nose deformity.
Treatment for Septal Hematoma
Septal hematoma requires prompt treatment to avoid possible complications such as necrosis of the cartilage, deviated septum or nose deformity. Treatment for septal hematoma involves drainage of the accumulated blood. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be given to reduce swelling and pain. Cold compresses can be also helpful. Finally, surgical treatment may be needed if there is a defect in the cartilage.